1st July 2010, 11:55 AM
Taken from my local papar.
13th August 2010, 01:49 PM
Looks like the meetings aren't going to be cut quite as badly as first reported and the winter evening racing is going to continue the trial that they did last year and switch to being twilight meetings:
From the Racing Post:
The UK 2011 racing calendar is likely to emerge with a maximum reduction of 140 fixtures - and possibly several fewer - compared with this year, despite the sport being previously threatened with the loss of 250 slots.
At the end of June the BHA revealed it was planning to drop all those fixtures it owns, which for five years have been the subject of a bidding process, in the face of a substantial fall in Levy Board funding towards prize-money and fixture incentives.
However, subsequent discussions appear to have saved 97 winter 'twilight' fixtures, which were originally scheduled this year as evening meetings at the all-weather tracks.
Their switch from evening to lateafternoon is intended to bridge a gap in betting shop coverage at the end of non-floodlit racing, and has already proved to be levy positive.
As a concession to cost-saving, next year's twilight meetings are likely to attract a much-reduced basic daily rate of Levy Board prize-money contribution of around £10,000 a fixture.
Discussions about further changes to the 2011 fixture list are continuing between the BHA, Levy Board, Horsemen's Group, the Racecourse Association and individual racecourses and groups.
Other proposals include retaining fourth Saturday and third Sunday afternoon fixtures, which had both been under threat.
One suggestion being considered is that Saturday fixtures outside two designated as premier meetings would be given 50 per cent of normal LevyBoard prize-money, while racecourses staging the third Sunday fixture would receive central-funding support only for integrity services.
The key objective of the discussions is to take account of the need to retain levy-generative fixtures and the demand from racecourses to stage meetings at customer-friendly times, while facing up to the likelihood of a 25 per cent drop in Levy Board funding for prize-money.
Last month, the Levy Board set its 2011 expenditure at £70 million. The board has yet to announce a figure for its contribution to prize-money, but based on previous allocations, the sum could be around £38.5m, compared with this year's £52.1m.
The major outstanding issue is the fate of the remaining BHA-owned fixtures, which total around 140 and are likely to be the subject of debate between the Horsemen's Group and individual racecourses.
If agreement can be reached on a prize-money structure that suits both parties, the BHA is expected to be asked to sanction the fixtures and the Levy Board approached for at least part funding.
With so much uncertainty still surrounding the 2011 fixture list, its finalisation and publication may not take place until the end of next month. Under normal circumstances, next year's racing calendar would have been published a fortnight ago.
BHA racing director Ruth Quinn was unable to outline any details on Tuesday, but said: "Plans should become clearer within the next week, after a number of important meetings have taken place, and our aim remains to ensure there are no gaps in the programme."
A skeleton list may be published next week, showing major meetings such as Cheltenham (March 15-18), Aintree (April 7-9), Epsom (June 3-4), Royal Ascot (June 14-18), Goodwood (July 26-30), York (Aug 16-19) and Doncaster (Sept 7-10).
However, so much detail remains to be concluded, with racecourses likely to be engaged in further swaps or cancellations once the prize-money structure has been agreed, that Quinn warned: "We would like to publish the list by the end of September, but even then it may not be definitive."
16th August 2010, 09:58 AM
Not happy that they are to continue with the "twilight meetings" i much prefer proper evening racing in Winter/summer due to being at work, will need to find some way of "getting on" via a Blackberry or I-phone.
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